The Australian | 7 November 2012
The Australian Standards and Quality Agency (ASQA), the national VET regulator, says its “blitz” on mandatory safety training for construction workers signals the start of a new Tax Office-style approach of thematic audits.
ASQA’s chief commissioner Chris Robinson says the “strategic review” of entry-level occupational health and safety training for people working on building sites – known as “white card” training – would be the first of three such blitzes this financial year. The others are aged and community care training, which has attracted scathing criticism over fast-tracked courses – leading the Productivity Commission to call for a national audit – and inappropriate marketing by registered colleges.
Criticisms of white card training echoed the concerns about aged care courses, with ASQA told some were “simply too short to give participants the knowledge and experience they need”.
Robinson says there are reports of poor quality training and concerns about online assessment, “particularly whether students are assessed on the [required] communication and comprehension skills”. RTOs can’t even be sure of the identities of people completing online assessments, he said.
The review is due for completion by June, with ASQA undertaking to report its findings and intended actions, possibly including recommendations for other agencies.